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Decision '93 / A LOOK AT THE ELECTION IN LOS ANGELES COUNTY : The Issues

April 11, 1993

On these pages, the 11 leading candidates give their views on the local economy, racial tension, gangs, higher taxes for more police officers. . . They also respond to questions on gun control, the city's homelessness, mass transit, the city budget and where they would look for new revenue.

* Stan Sanders * QUESTION 1:

If you are elected mayor, what will be your first important official action?

Convening a citywide forum on the future of L.A., first in a series. It will focus on crime and public safety. Participants won't be just officials, business leaders and academics but also the community and youth, including the gang culture. Then I'll set deadlines for meeting identified goals.

QUESTION 2:

Do you have a plan for improving the city's economy? If so, please describe it briefly.

1. Establish a $1-billion community economic development bank from private sources. 2. Assess business regulatory ordinances and reduce red tape. 3. Lobby for enterprise-zone legislation, workers' compensation reform and L.A.'s fair share of federal dollars to encourage business. 4. Market L.A. as a hospitable investment environment.

QUESTION 3:

Do you have a plan for reducing racial and ethnic tensions in Los Angeles? If so, please describe it.

Immediately and personally respond to any episode of racial or ethnic violence or discrimination; set the tone for condemnation of such acts. We must make schools true crucibles of democratic life and values. And every city employee must provide thoughtful and courteous service to every citizen.

QUESTION 4:

Do you support the ballot measure to raise taxes to add 1,000 officers to the Los Angeles Police Department?

Yes. Also, we need to deploy officers better. Only 350 or so patrol cars work the streets now; that should increase by at least 50. More officers should be on streets, not at desks. Police employees should have to live in L.A. Never again should L.A.'s mayor and police chief go 14 months without talking. Finally, we must insist on more federal assistance.

QUESTION 5:

What do you think should be done about street gangs in Los Angeles?

Show young people alternatives, working with leaders like Jim Brown and his "Amer-I-Can" program for prison inmates. And be tough. I favor automatic jail time for having unlicensed firearms, aggressive intervention with at-risk youngsters, holding parents responsible for children's behavior. I'll work to enforce and extend the 1992 Crips-Bloods truce.

QUESTION 6:

Do you support any restrictions on the right of people to own firearms? If so, what restrictions do you support?

Yes. Banning automatic weapons from L.A.; the Brady bill with waiting periods for gun purchases; interdiction of assault-type weaponry. I'd consider an amnesty period for collecting firearms.

QUESTION 7:

Do you believe the city government should try to alleviate homelessness in Los Angeles? If so, how?

I support existing efforts but the primary effort should be made by community-based groups like churches and synagogues and other organizations. The problem has roots everywhere in our civic culture.

QUESTION 8:

Do you support continued growth of rail mass transit, despite low ridership and high per-passenger cost to government?

Yes. I particularly favor continuing the disparity in per-passenger subsidies from the city that support the development of light rail. A market for it needs to be cultivated and it won't happen overnight. It serves economic and environmental objectives at the same time.

QUESTION 9:

Do you have a plan to balance the city budget? If so, please describe it.

I will make across-the-board cuts in city departments, excluding police, fire and other emergency services; do oversight review of the procedures for budget information development; support cost-saving initiatives and take personal charge of developing the budget submission to the City Council.

QUESTION 10:

Do you support any tax increase or other source of additional revenue for the city? If so, please describe it.

My approach: Use (1) market forces to yield (2) socially responsible results. Examples are a 10% restaurant surcharge for "smokers only" areas, giving proceeds to public health programs; a 5-cent fee for video games, proceeds to libraries or adult literary work; a 5-cent "adult" magazine charge, proceeds to battered-women shelters or children's programs.

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